PRESS RELEASE: Queen’s “We Will Rock You” is number one hit for therapy patients, new survey shows

Queen’s classic stomper “We Will Rock You” is the number one song used in music therapy in the UK, according to a new survey by Chroma.

Its emphatic rhythm and strong melody make it ideal for the rehabilitation of speech, language and cognitive functions following a stroke or acquired brain injury – as well as in group therapy sessions designed to resolve conflict – explained Daniel Thomas, managing director of the company, the UK’s leading arts therapy provider.

He said: “A lot of people probably imagine that music therapy is all about soft and gentle sounds but, when choosing music with our clients, we sometimes rely heavily on strong, loud songs with a simple melody and a no-nonsense beat.

“In a lot of ways, ‘We Will Rock You’ is a music therapy natural. You can see and hear it in the way that it is chanted so enthusiastically in football grounds. Belt it out, stamp your feet, and you’ll immediately feel more uplifted, united and orientated.

“The song is used by our therapists to help people in a group environment, including children, to develop social skills or to feel stronger together in order to overcome any conflicts they are experiencing. It is a favourite with adoptive families in difficult situations.”

The top five songs named in the survey are:

  • We Will Rock You, Queen
  • Three Little Birds, Bob Marley
  • Amazing Grace, various versions including Elvis Presley
  • Another Brick in the Wall, Pink Floyd
  • You Are My Sunshine, various versions including Johnny Cash

The top five artists used in music therapy were also included in the Chroma survey with Bob Marley taking the top slot, followed by Queen, Adele, Pink Floyd and Eminem. The research covered 50 music therapists who work for the company and together provide over 17,500 hours of support to over 500 patients and clients.

Daniel said: “If you look at the songs and artists that are chosen, they tend to have very strong melodies and rhythms and are very much woven into the fabric of people’s lives.

“We use those qualities to help people through problems. For example, if we were trying to support someone who was being bullied at school, we might slightly change the lyrics of ‘Three Little Birds’ to personalise them and make them relevant to their issues.

“So, they might sing, ‘Woke up this morning, had to come to school, three little feelings, I had inside, making me feel scared, blue and quiet, but then I said to myself…don’t worry, about a thing…’

“This type of therapy can be remarkably effective and adapted to many different kinds of problems that people are facing as individuals or groups such as families.”

Music therapy is an official Allied Health Profession and has been used in the UK for more than 70 years. Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registered therapists use music to help clients with issues ranging from cognitive function and motor skills to emotional development and quality of life. It is widely used in places such as schools and hospitals, and has strong evidence to demonstrate its success, including the Cochrane Reviews